Ten Questions to Ask if You Still Haven't Found a JobFriday, 17 August 2012
Today on Let's Get Working we'll discuss the Ten Questions to Ask Yourself if You Still Haven't Found a Job based on an article written by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
Job-Seekers: Ten Questions to Ask Yourself if You Still Haven't Found a Job
1. Are you networking?
It's really important to get out there and let people know you're looking for a job. Make sure you're specific about what you're looking for because it will improve your chances of getting the type of job you want.
For example - I want to work in retail or, I want to work in administration.
When networking with people it's a good idea to have copies of your resume on hand to give them. They can then pass them onto any employers they know that might be hiring. To gain insight into a particular type of job, talk to people who are or have been a part of that industry. Ask about the skill and experience required and the day to day responsibilities of the role.
2. Are you limiting your search?
Don't rely solely on job ads from the newspaper or Internet job sites because only a small percentage of jobs are obtained through advertising. To increase your chances of finding a job you should use every form of job-hunting available to you, whether that's cold calling, networking, or internet and newspaper ads.
3. Are you targeting the employers that are most in need of your skills?
Finding jobs can be difficult. To make your job hunting more efficient, put together a list of the employers you want to contact based on the following search criteria.
- What companies do you want to work for?
- What companies are likely to have plenty of openings in your field?
- What companies are in need of the skills you have to offer?
Once you've researched these companies, you can approach them using a number of job-hunting techniques:
- Send a cover letter to impress the employer with your knowledge of their company.
- Use your network of contacts to uncover people that can help you contact people in your target companies.
- interview people for information in your target companies.
- Watch for newspaper or Internet ads from these companies.
4. Are you spending enough time job-hunting?
When looking for a job, job-hunting should be your full-time job. This may not be possible if you're a student or already employed seeking a better position. But you only get out what you put in, so allocate as much time to it as you can.
Your daily goal should be to connect the people in your network every day and try to setup interviews with people your contacts refer you to. Make sure you exhaust all avenues available to you before moving on to your next target. If you're stuck for ideas ask your contacts, family or friends for advice.
5. Do you follow up after sending your resume or cover letter?
Do you blindly send out resumes and cover letters hoping that an employer responds? It's important to follow up with employers after you've sent them your resume and cover letter. Make sure you either call or email the employer to see how your application is progressing and ask if you can setup an interview. Those who proactively follow up are much more likely to get interviews and stay on the employer's mind.
6. Are you getting interviews?
If you're following up with employers but you're still not getting interviews, the problem could be with how you've structured your resume or cover letter. For information on writing a resume or cover letter see the articles:
7. How are your interview skills?
If you're getting interviews but you never make it past the interview stage, you might have to improve your interview skills. Practise you're responses to the commonly asked questions and videotape yourself during mock interviews with family or friends. This not only allows them to critique your performance and give you feedback, it also allows you to see how you appear to others.
Once you've sorted out your interview skills you may have to look at how you disclose your disability. By disclosing your disability at the wrong time or in the wrong you could actually be scaring off employers. When you disclose your disability it's important to remain factual and positive and to keep the focus on your ability to do the job.
For more information about see the article Disclosing your disability.
8. Do you send thank-you notes after interviews?
You may think a thank you note is just a common courtesy that won't get you anywhere. While you're right it won't make or break the hiring process. If the decision comes down to two equally qualified candidates, the odds favour the one who was polite and took the time to personally thank the employer.
9. Do you follow up with the employer after the interview?
If you've sent a thank-you note and haven't heard anything by the time the employer said the hiring decision would be made, give then a call or send an email. It's important to be polite, but be persistent. This kind of follow-up shows you're interested in the job.
10. Have you asked what you're doing wrong?
If you can, when you get a no, ask the employer what you did wrong or what you could have done better? Some employers won't give you a straight answer, but occasionally you'll find a sympathetic person who'll help you out. If they do reveal something that can give you a more effective approach for next time, it will have been well worth asking.
When you receive a rejection, be sure to let the employer know you're still interested in working for the company. The person they hire over you may not work out, resulting in you being back for another interview a couple of months down the track.
Until next time,